A community based conservation group in Tharaka-Nithi County has raised the red flag over continuous logging of indigenous trees in the Mt Kenya Forest.
The Atiririri Bururi ma Chuka group said counties surrounding the forest were grappling with the problem of climate change as the logging continues unchecked.
Speaking at Kirubia Stadium on Sunday, the group, whose members say they are the original inhabitants of the region accused unnamed people of being behind the activity.
“We are demanding to know how those cutting down trees were allowed into the forest.
“This is pure personal interest of a few individuals who are close to power,” said the lobby’s chairman Mr Ngai M’Oboro.
At the same time, more than 3,000 elders have threatened to move to international courts to demand for the right to control the forest’s conservation.
THREAT TO FOREST
Mr M’Oboro accused some residents of Embu and Meru counties who live near the forest of carrying out activities that threaten the forest’s existence.
The group which is fighting for the ownership of a 12-kilometre stretch of the forest in Chuka/Igambang’ombe and Maara constituencies also demanded for maps detailing the forest’s gazetted borders.
“Last year, we surveyed the forest with government officials but the report is yet to be made public to us,” the elders’ lawyer Wendy Wanja told journalists.
She said that saw millers have destroyed about 60,000 acres of indigenous hardwood trees.
She added that the community relied on forest resources for food, housing and work and they ceased utilising the forest when the state suspended the shamba system in the commercial forest plantations in 1990.